Tagged: Ubaldo Jimenez

Phillies Big Bang Theory

According to Wikipedia, the Big Bang Theory refers to the idea that the universe was originally extremely hot and dense at some finite time in the past and has since cooled by expanding to the present diluted state and continues to expand today.  The same theory can be used to explain the Phillies 2010 season thus far.  They got off to a very hot start in April, cooled off from May to most of July and are now “expanding.”  Although, “exploding” may be a more accurate term.

At first, having to face the best pitcher in the National League today did not seem like good news for the struggling Phillies offense.  But after scoring 6 runs yesterday, maybe they got some of their Mojo back.  Because they absolutely destroyed the Rockies ace, Ubaldo Jimenez. 

Jimenez entered the game with a record of 15-1 and a miniscule 2.38 ERA.  But he left the game after only 2 innings and 6 runs allowed on 3 hits and 6 walks.  All 6 runs scored in the top of the 3rd inning without Jimenez even recording an out. 
Big Bang Howard Werth.jpg
It was starting to look like the “diluted” state of the Phils offense was about to pass.  The Rockies bullpen gave up one more run, but finally, after 30 minutes, got out of the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Jimmy Rollins, very comfy back in his leadoff spot, kicked off the 3rd inning with a single to left.  The next two batters walked as Jimenez started to look rattled.  Then Ryan Howard smacked a triple down the 1st base line.  The walks kept coming and Rollins hit a triple to score two more runs in his second at-bat of the inning.   The Rockies must have wondered if that inning was ever going to end.

While the inning did have to end eventually, the Phillies kept trying to add on and give pitcher Kyle Kendrick a huge cushion.  Kendrick had extra motivation to pitch well today.  In his last outing, Kendrick allowed 7 runs and was then demoted to the minors.  You had to expect a solid effort today as the injury to Jamie Moyer forced the Phillies to give Kendrick one more shot.

Kendrick took advantage of the unexpected opportunity and pitched very well.  By the 7th inning, Kendrick had an 8 run lead to work with and he had allowed only 1 run at that point.  He loaded the bases in the 7th with 2 outs, but managed to get out of it with a fly ball to center.  So Kendrick went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on a solo homer.  This result was more than anyone could have hoped for from Kendrick.

110A.jpgThere were a number of positives to come out of this game, aside from the obvious…a win.  Rollins looks like the player of old again with 3 big hits, a stolen base and 3 RBI.  Raul Ibanez is still loving the 3-hole in the line-up; he had his own big bang with 2-run homer in the 6th.  Jayson Werth had 2 hits and Howard racked up 3 more RBI.  Placido Polanco played 2nd base today and Greg Dobbs was at third, which turned out to be a good move.  Polanco had 2 hits and Dobbs added a hit, an RBI and a walk and played well at 3rd.  Even Ben Francisco got a pinch-hit double.

So is this the big bang the Phillies have been waiting for to kick start their offense?  A 10-2 win preceded by a 6-0 win should serve as a very good sign.  The players that have not been hitting are coming back to life.  It is a welcome sight for sure.

Another note of interest, rookie Vance Worley made his major league debut today, pitching the 9th inning for the Phillies.   The 22-year old righty starter was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA in AA ball for the R-Phils; he had pitched 17 consecutive scoreless innings in his last two games before being called up to the Phils to work in the bullpen.  Worley was a 3rd round draft pick in 2008 and has made considerable strides since pitching at a 5.34 ERA last year.

In today’s 9th inning, Worley’s fast ball topped out at 95 mph with a 76 mph curve ball and an 83-84mph slider.  He looked solid, changed speeds well and the end result was 2 strikeouts and a fly ball out to center.  Great job by the rookie!

So, if JA Happ can give the Phillies a solid start tomorrow, they have a shot at winning 4 in a row which has not happened since before the All-Star break.  I will be at the game and shall return with photos.  See you there!


Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*



Lee Rocks The Rockies

Cliff Lee had an up and down month of September, but with a clean slate in October, all is well again.  Lee pitched a complete game and led the Phillies to a 5-1 win in Game 1 of the NLDS over the Rockies.  He had a shut-out going into the 9th inning. 

In a post-game interview, Lee admitted to getting distracted when he took a moment to soak in the crowd and the atmosphere, which led to a Troy Tulowitzki double to score a run with two outs in the inning.  While both Lee and the crowd were disappointed about the lost shut-out, that disappointment lasted only a few moments as Lee stuck out Garret Atkins to end the game.100709 Lee.jpg

The first 4 innings were tense as the Phillies hitters were shut down by pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.  But in the 5th, they figured him out and pounded out 5 runs in two innings.  High winds kept a few balls in the park and the field was littered with bags, wrappers and a small dust storm, but they managed to hit through it.  Every player in the line-up, including Lee, had at least one hit in the game.  The middle of the line-up, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez, had 2 hits apiece and combined for 4 RBI.  The Phillies also racked up 3 doubles, 1 triple by Werth and 3 stolen bases.


Shocking everyone, including manager Charlie Manuel, Cliff Lee stole one of those 3 bases.  The man did everything tonight; he hit, he ran and he pitched the entire game.  Looking around the ballpark, I actually saw a t-shirt that said “Thank-you, Indians.”  I think we can all agree with that sentiment.

So Cole Hamels will pitch Game 2 tomorrow and he will have a LOT on his mind.  Not only is he starting a play-off game, but his wife is pregnant with their first child and she is due right NOW.  Seriously, she could pop at any second.  We should all say a collective prayer that she can hold that baby in until at least Friday.

I just read an interesting article about Hamels as well.  It seems that he too is cheesed over the crappy start times for this series that we all got stuck with.  Beat writer Todd Zolecki quoted Hamels as saying, “Being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we kind of get both games at 2 o’ clock. I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans because this is all about the home-field advantage or just baseball in general.”  For once Cole, I completely agree.

Not only did thousands of people have to ditch work to attend the game, but thousands of kids skipped school as well.  Sadly, the education system took a big hit today and probably will again tomorrow.  In fact, today’s game was host to the largest crowd in the history of Citizens Bank Park: 46,452.  We will see if that is surpassed tomorrow.  Game time is 2:37pm….ugh. 

Here is the full Photo Album from the game today.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn


*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*